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Old Apr 23, 2010, 06:29 PM
modbuilder's Avatar
United States, SC, York
Joined Dec 2007
583 Posts
Primer or Help on How to Decorate a Foamie?

OK Gang -- Am a left brained engineer type, so arty things don't come easily. I can do basic repair of covering on a balsa ARF, maybe even cover one from scratch. But I'm building up some foamies from scratch, and completing some foamie kits, all of which leave me with a white foam blank canvas needing artistic expression. I hear about using colored markers, stickers, etc. Is there a primer thread somewhere on how to do this well without loading it up on weight, or twisting a surface, or melting the foam, etc. ? I've looked around but can't find much. Sources would be helpful too. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks............. R

Apologies if I've overlooked a whole bunch of just-right stuff somewhere on the site.
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 06:45 PM
Out the Window
High Flyin''s Avatar
United States, FL, Alachua
Joined Jul 2004
1,327 Posts
Have you looked at the second sticky from the top here on the Foamies forum? Lots of good ideas and some video to show you how it is done!
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 08:18 PM
Registered User
Chalmette, Louisiana. Mostly warm, sometimes 14-feet underwater!!
Joined Jan 2010
120 Posts
Hey Modbuilder

My skills as an artist is second only to my skills as a flier. Both leave a lot to be desired!

I have used colored packing tape and, had some really nice results. This is the cheapest source of tape I've found;


After I finished my Super Cub work with the packing tape, I thought a little sharpie work would be OK. In the hands of some people a sharpie can be a tool of true art. It should be illegal for me to be near a plane with a sharpie!

My tape job was good enough to take a photo and post it as the work of a beginner. But now, you couldn't pay me to display the mess I made with the pen.

The local sign shop (coroplast) carries the vinyl lettering material with an adhesive backing. The owner told me he can cut strips narrow enough for pin-striping and, of course as wide as the roll (24-inches). This is very much less expensive than automotive pin-striping. And, the colors available are awesome! They have everything from the very metallic gold and silver to, vinyl with designs in it. It's amazing what just outlining/pin-striping the existing graphics can do.

Wiping-down the surface of the foam with rubbing alcohol prior to any tape/adhesive work helps alot. Go ahead, ask me how I know!

Another thing I now do with adhesives is, I spray a rattle-can type spray adhesive and let it set for a minute or two before applying the tape. Since I started the alcohol wipe and spraying adhesive, I've not had one piece of tape come loose on any of mine or my sons planes (5). 3M makes one that is expensive. I use the much less expensive spray sold at Harbor Freight.

High Flyin gave you some good advice. Go look over there. Also, you might want to go through sites like the Super Cub site for instance. Once you get to a post with photos, you just keep scrolling right >> on the photos and, you will quickly see every photo on the entire thread. Quickest way to view-through a thread without having to page through.

I wish I could give you some actual art related advice but....
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 09:15 PM
modbuilder's Avatar
United States, SC, York
Joined Dec 2007
583 Posts
Good grief! That sticky is where I needed to start. Like a lot of stuff, I seem to always make it harder than it has to be. Thanks for the pointer. And Bigoledude --> excellent suggestions. Thanks ...............R
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 10:15 PM
My plans are in my blog
Rusty-Gunn's Avatar
Kotzebue, Alaska
Joined May 2006
5,416 Posts
I use Sharpie markers a lot. This is a "split" pattern I've come up with. It looks like the fabric is tearing/splitting, with a new design under it.
Its quite easy to do. Iuse a black marker to make the "triangles" where it splits, and then draw a checker pattern in and around it.
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Old Apr 24, 2010, 06:20 AM
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kdahlhaus's Avatar
United States, OH, Westlake
Joined Mar 2002
4,586 Posts
The solution for us artistically challenged types is right here:

I've also had much better luck with sharpies on small foamies that paint. Saves weight too!
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